Articles by Peter Rutland



Did Russia Get a Raw Deal at Eurovision? (Op-Ed)

After the surprise victory of Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm on May 14, a chorus of complaints could be heard from Moscow.

EU Has Held Its Nerve in Ukraine

Jose Manuel Barroso, who stepped down as head of the European Commission in October 2014, gave a spirited defense of the European Union's actions during the Ukraine crisis in an address to the Association for the Study of Nationalities at Columbia University on April 25.

Gorbachev's Democracy Died With Boris Nemtsov

The murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was a reminder — if anyone needed it — that the transition to democracy in Russia has failed.

No Arab Spring in Russia, Yet

A lively debate has been under way for several years about the impact of the Internet on political life around the world.

Grozny Attack Is Another Headache for Putin

The terrorist attack in Grozny on Dec. 4, the day of President Vladimir Putin's state of the nation address, was a brutal reminder that the problem of unrest in the Muslim republics of Russia's North Caucasus remains a mortal danger to the stability of the country in general and Putin's regime in particular.

How Much Longer Can Putin's System Last?

Putin has unequivocally signaled that Russia does not see itself as part of Europe.

Putin Holds All the Cards in Ukraine

It is increasingly obvious that Russia is winning in the battle for influence over Ukraine. What is not obvious, however, is what happens next and President Vladimir Putin's preferred outcome. Can he afford to sit back, or will he increase the pressure?

By Glorifying WWI, Putin Ignores Its Tragedy

On Friday, Aug. 1, President Vladimir Putin took time off from making history, to reflect on history.

The U.S. And EU Don't Have a Ukraine Strategy

The destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is without doubt the most serious challenge to peace in Europe since the fall of the Soviet Union, perhaps since the 1961 Berlin Wall crisis.

Abkhazia's Crisis Not Over Yet

Last week saw the toppling of the president of Abkhazia in mass protests reminiscent of those in Kiev's Maidan Square. But while the new government may resolve some tensions, the breakaway republic's ambiguous relationship to Russia may lead to yet more problems in the future.

A Paradigm Shift in Russia's Foreign Policy

Putin has embraced nationalism, not state interests, as the overarching rationale for his foreign policy decisions.

Getting Russia Wrong

The mainstream media prefer featuring Russian specialists who portray Russia in primitive, good-versus-evil terms.

A Putinkin Opening Ceremony in Sochi

The spectacular opening ceremony at the Sochi Olympics confounded Western critics who were expecting a bombastic display of Soviet nostalgia and muscular nationalism, a showcase for President Vladimir Putin's embrace of "traditional values."

Putin's Political Predicament

To offset the drop in his ratings, Putin has embraced an aggressive, anti-Western "values agenda," such as the "gay propaganda" law.

Vuitton's Faux Pas on Red Square

As Moscow is home to 78 billionaires and more than 100,000 millionaires, placing the huge Louis Vuitton trunk on Red Square seemed fitting.

Snowden Tests Putin's Machiavellianism

U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to cancel the September summit only deepens the mystery surrounding President Vladimir Putin's handling of the Edward Snowden affair.

The Kremlin's Repressive Tolerance of Navalny

Russia's "managed democracy" allows opponents to play a walk-on role but only when they have no chance of winning.

Obama's Russian Policy With Rice

With Susan Rice's appointment as national security adviser, U.S.-Russian relations, already at an all-time low, are unlikely to warm up anytime soon.

Fight Over School Textbooks

It is an ugly sight to see politicians getting involved in telling teachers what to teach and hurling accusations of disloyalty at them.

Another Blow to Russia's Bid to Boost Soft Power

The re-election of Barack Obama raised hopes that U.S.-Russian relations could be launched on a fresh course. The nightmare scenario of a Mitt Romney presidency staffed with neocons has been averted.

Puzzled by 2012 Peace Prize

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has brought both praise and puzzlement. The International Crisis Group lauded the EU as "one of the greatest conflict resolution mechanisms ever devised." Others questioned why a body whose economic policies are associated with political turmoil and social unrest in Greece and Spain should be singled out for promoting peace.

What Links Pussy Riot With Dostoevsky

Pussy Riot's political and social appeal to a higher truth is rooted in the country's 19th-century revolutionary  tradition.

The New Boss in Yekaterinburg

On May 29, Yevgeny Kuivashev became governor of the Sverdlovsk region after the regional parliament approved his appointment. Yekaterinburg, the provincial capital and the fourth-largest city in Russia, may serve as an example of President Vladimir Putin's policy toward regional leaders.

Why Syria Veto Makes Sense

On Friday, representatives of more than 70 nations gathered in Tunis to discuss international action to stop the killings in Syria. But Russia was not among them.

Putin's Nationality Dilemma

In Prague, tourists line up to visit the "New-Old" synagogue, which was new when it was built, in 1270. On Jan. 23, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin published an essay on the "national question" in Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Like the Prague synagogue, Putin's article is something that is called new, but in fact, it is quite old.

A Cold War Could Turn Hot in Korean Peninsula

Much of the commentary about North Korea after the death of Kim Jong Il has sidestepped the question of reunification. While the nations of Germany and Vietnam were united, Korea remains split into two. In this part of the world, the Cold War is not over, and there is a real danger that it might turn into a hot war.

The Dynamic Side of the Leonid Brezhnev Era

With Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's impending return to the presidency, there is increasing talk of a Communist-type restoration. But what do we really know about the Soviet Union of the Brezhnev years?

Stalin Caused the Soviet Collapse

Twenty years after the August 1991 coup that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is worth revisiting the puzzle of the Soviet Union's abrupt demise. Which individual more than any other should be held responsible for the Soviet collapse?

War Clouds Gathering Again in the Caucasus

Three years after the Russia-Georgia armed conflict, war clouds are again gathering in the Caucasus. Already deadlocked for years, the peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan hit a brick wall on June 24 in Kazan, when a much-anticipated peace summit broke up without agreement.

There Goes the Eastern Neighborhood

W ith the Group of Eight leaders pledging $20 billion in aid last week to support countries making the transition from dictatorship in the Arab world, the West seems to be losing its interest in promoting democracy in the former Soviet Union.